Where We Stand

APN has long been the most courageous, principled voice of Americans who support Israel and know that only peace will ensure Israel’s security, prosperity and continued viability as a Jewish state and a democracy.  Positions advocated for more than two decades by APN and its Israeli sister organization Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) – like calling for the creation of a viable Palestinian state, freezing and evacuation of settlements, and Jerusalem serving as the capital of both Israel and the future Palestinian state – are now recognized by most American Jews and Israelis as basic requirements both for peace and for a secure future for Israel.

APN’s mission is reflected in the following core positions/principles, which animate our work:

 We believe unequivocally that Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab peace are essential to Israel’s security, well-being, and viability as a Jewish state and a democracy. We firmly believe that peace between Israel and its neighbors is a key U.S. national security interest. We recognize the tragic costs, now and for future generations, of failing to make peace.

  • We are deeply opposed to Israeli settlement creation and expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The settlement enterprise is a major obstacle to peace, undermines Israel’s security, and threatens Israel’s viability as a Jewish state and a democracy.
  • We know that the achievement of Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab peace will require the establishment of a sovereign state of Palestine, living in peace and security alongside Israel, both within recognized borders.
  • We embrace the two-state solution as the only viable option for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, knowing that neither Israelis nor Palestinians will – or should be expected to – give up their desire for self-determination in their own state, recognizing that there is no zero-sum victory possible for either side, and knowing that in this context, the only alternative to the two-state solution is prolonged violence and bloodshed.
  • We believe that Israelis and Palestinians, with support and pressure from the international community, must negotiate the details of a peace agreement that will result in two states.  The borders of these states must be based on the 1967 lines, including the removal of most settlements and with any changes in those lines achieved through mutually agreed-on land swaps.  An agreement must enable and support the emergence of a state of Palestine that is maximally contiguous and politically and economically viable, with its capital in East Jerusalem. 
  • Such a solution will entail historic and painful compromises for both Israelis and Palestinians.  Israelis will have to relinquish the goals of establishing "Greater Israel" in an area encompassing the biblical lands of Judea and Samaria – the present-day West Bank –and of maintaining control over East Jerusalem.  Palestinians will have to relinquish the goal of regaining control over the 78% of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea that they view as "Historic Palestine," agree to find solutions for the Palestinian refugee issue largely outside the borders of the state of Israel, and accept intrusive security arrangements necessary to address Israel's legitimate concerns.  
  • We insist without apology that any peace agreement must be predicated on recognition of Israel’s legitimate security needs and the inalienable right of the Jewish people for a national home in the land of Israel, alongside recognition of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to dignity, independence, and self-determination in a sovereign, independent state of Palestine.

Settlements: Antithetical to Peace

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APN and Peace Now in Israel work day in and day out to stop the settlements from hijacking Israel's future. If settlement construction continues, settlements will destroy the very possibility of peace and sentence Israel to a future where it will no longer be viable as both a Jewish state and a democracy.

Settlements in Focus
Peace Now's Hagit Ofran and APN's Lara Friedman in Haaretz: Don't Be Fooled by Netanyahu's Sleight of Hand on Settlements
Netanyahu’s (Real) Settlement Record
“Facts on the Ground” – APN’s Map App
Price Tag Timeline
They Say, We Say – Questions & Answers on settlements
Blaming the Messenger: Bibi & Friends Attack Peace Now

In Search of a Diplomatic Solution with Iran:

irancollage350x700APN Analysis & Activism in Support of the Current P5+1 Negotiations with Iran

[THIS PAGE TRACKS DEVELOPMENTS PRIOR TO THE JULY 14 ACHIEVEMENT OF THE IRAN DEAL; FOR POST-JULY 14 DEVELOPMENTS, PLEASE SEE OUR IRAN RESOURCE PAGE]

Note: Follow APN’s Director of Policy & Government Relations, Lara Friedman, on Twitter (@Lara_APN) for the best and the latest updates, analysis, and opinion on this topic

1.  APN Statements & Opeds

April 15, 2015: APN to Congress: You’ve Legislated Oversight of a Deal – Now Give Iran Diplomacy a Chance to Work
April 12, 2015: Ernest Moniz in The Washington Post: A nuclear deal that offers a safer world
April 3, 2015: APN Welcomes Framework Agreement to Prevent Iran from Obtaining a Nuclear Weapon
March 10, 2015:  Oped - The Senate GOP's Hail Mary Pass on Iran
March 3, 2015:
Oped in the Forward - 11 Lies Netanyahu Told Congress on Iran

March 3, 2015: Following Netanyahu Speech: Give Diplomacy a Chance!
March 2, 2015:  APN to Senate: Reject Unnecessary, Dangerous New Iran Bills
March 2, 2015:  Press Release: APN to Netanyahu: Use Congressional Speech to Repair Damage!
February 27, 2015: "Prepare for Netanyahu’s Washington Speeches:  Listen for these 11 Bogus Arguments against an Iran Deal"
February 27, 2015:The Iran Deal: 2/27 Briefing call with Larry Hanauer and Joseph Cirincione
November 24, 2014: "APN to Congress: Allow Iran Negotiations to Continue Unhindered during Extension."
November 24, 2014: "National Grassroots Call on Diplomacy with Iran."
November 14, 2014: "Barbara Slavin of the Atlantic Council and al-Monitor briefing call on Iran."
February 12, 2014:"APN Applauds House Letter Supporting Diplomacy with Iran."
January 23, 2014: "Proposed new Iran sanctions all wrong." (Mark Silverberg in the Cleveland Jewish News)
January 14, 2014:  "APN Urges Congress and US Jewish Groups to Stop Pushing New Sanctions."
January 9, 2014:   “Thwarting Iran Diplomacy: Not Good for the Jews” (Lara Friedman in the Huffington Post)
December 27, 2013:  “Taking ‘yes’ for an answer on Iran” (Lara Friedman in the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle)
December 20, 2013: “APN Condemns New Iran Sanctions Bill in Senate
December 13, 2013:  “APN Commends Congress for Giving Iran Diplomacy a Chance to Work; Applauds Activists for their Engagement
November 24, 2013: “APN Welcomes Interim Agreement to Freeze Iran's Nuclear Program
November 8, 2013: “Netanyahu, Decoded: The Only Good Iran Deal is No Deal” (Lara Friedman on the APN blog)

2.  APN Action Alerts

April 7, 2015: Tell Your Senators: Reject Anti-Diplomacy Iran Bills
March 2, 2015:  Action Alert -Tell Your Senators: Oppose AIPAC-backed Iran Bills
February 25, 2015:Take Action - Sign the petition: Don’t Let Netanyahu & Friends Abort an Iran Deal
February 6, 2015: Take Action: Tell Your Elected Officials: Demand that March 3 Netanyahu Speech to Congress Be Delayed
January 29, 2015: Tell Speaker Boehner to reschedule Netanyahu's speech before Congress
December 4, 2014: "Tell your Representatives and Senators to continue to support diplomacy with Iran."
January 6, 2014: “Tell Senate: Reject S. 1881, the New Anti-Iran-Diplomacy Bill
December 20, 2013: “Tell Your Senators: Reject New Anti-Diplomacy Iran Sanctions Push
December 11, 2013: “Tell Congress: Give Iran diplomacy time to work
November 13, 2013:  “Tell Your Senators: Don't Undermine Iran Diplomacy with New Sanctions

3.  Legislative Round-Ups:

March 6, 2015: Oversight over Iran Deal vs. Scuttling a Deal – the Fight in the Senate; Members Weigh in on Bibi Speech
February 13, 2015: The Bibi Speech Political Storm Continues + Members on the Bibi Invite, Possible Boycott
February 6, 2015: Backlash Still Building over Boehner’s Bibi Bid + Members on the Bibi Invite, Possible Boycott
January 30, 2015:New Iran Sanctions? State-of-Play in the Senate + Iran Sanctions Markup – the Amendments
January 16, 2015:APN on Kirk-Menendez: Support Iran Diplomacy, Oppose New Iran Sanctions
January 9, 2015:Iran in the Congressional Crosshairs
July 25- Aug 2, 2014: Bills, Resolutions & Letters re: Iran diplomacy
July 3-25, 2014:Bills, Resolution & Letters re: Iran diplomacy
Feb 28-Mar 14, 2014: AIPAC Policy Conference – 2014 Edition (including details of Iran initiatives)
Feb 28, 2014: Senate GOP Goes Nuclear of Iran Sanctions, AIPAC policy conference Hill initiatives - preview of 2014, review of 2013
Jan 27-Feb 12, 2014: Pro-Diplomacy Forces Gain Ground in Iran Hill Battle
January 17, 2014: Includes “The Fight Over Iran Sanctions in the Senate (and House)” and “Plan B: Shifting Focus from Sanctions to Imposing Conditions on an Iran Final Deal”
January 10, 2014 – Includes “The Fight over Iran Sanctions in the Senate - S. 1881.”  Also includes details of other introduced or rumored Iran legislation in the House and Senate.
December 13, 2013 – Includes “Iran & the Hill - The Latest Chapter,” and “House members & Senators on Iran.”  Also includes details of various newly-introduced Iran bills and resolutions, as well as Congressional letters on Iran.
November 22, 2013 – Includes “Obama vs. ‘Pro-Israel’ Groups on Iran, Part IV,” “Congress, Diplomacy, Sanctions, and Israel - Where Things Stand, What Next,” “White House Implores Senate to Give Time for Talks,” “NDAA Amendments in the Spotlight,” “Members Sound Off on Iran - Letters” and “Members Sound Off on Iran - Statements, Op-eds, Etc.”  Also includes details of other newly-introduced Iran bills/resolutions.
November 14, 2013 – Includes “Obama vs. ‘Pro-Israel’ Groups on Iran, Part III” and “Congress, Diplomacy, Sanctions, and Israel - state-of-play.”  Also includes details of Iran-related letters sent by Members of Congress, and various newly-introduced Iran bills, and a rumored House resolution on Iran.
November 8, 2013 – Includes “Obama vs. "Pro-Israel" Groups over Iran Sanctions - Part II” and “Congress Moving on Iran Sanctions?”)
November 1, 2013  - Includes “Obama vs. ‘Pro-Israel’ Groups (and other Outside Groups) over Iran Sanctions” and “Obama Reaches out to Congress on Iran Sanctions.”  Also includes details of Iran-related letters sent by Members of Congress, an Iran “Authorization of Use of Force” bill in the House, and a rumored House Iran sanctions bill.
October 25, 2013 – Includes “Will Congress Ignore Obama & Pass New Iran Sanctions?”
October 18, 2013 – Includes “Iran P5+1 Talks Meet Congressional Skepticism and Scorn.”  Also includes details of newly-introduced Iran-related legislation and Iran-related letters signed by Members of Congress.

4. Recommended Reading:

April 12, 2015 - Ernest Moniz in The Washington Post: A nuclear deal that offers a safer world

For Zion's Sake... Ask your rabbi or cantor to speak up for a secure Israel

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In October, the JCPA published a study reflecting the challenges that rabbis face in expressing their views on Israel. According to this report, about a third of rabbis are reluctant to express these views. Despite extraordinarily deep personal connections, too many rabbis have said that they feel overtly or implicitly pressured to withhold their views and thus are unable to fully serve their communities by teaching or speaking about Israel.

As rabbis and cantors, we mustn’t be afraid. We must engage our communities and speak the difficult truths that will be necessary if Israel's future is to be secure.

Americans for Peace Now, T'ruah, and J Street believe that for Israel to have a future as a Jewish and a democratic state - living within secure, defined and recognized borders - there must be a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel’s survival as a Jewish and democratic state can only be secured through stopping settlement expansion, ending the occupation, and negotiating a two-state solution. Secretary of State John Kerry - backed by President Obama- has made heroic efforts to bring all the parties to the negotiating table. Secretary Kerry has taken up the challenge of the Psalmist to “seek peace and pursue it,” but he cannot bring peace on his own. “We really are at a critical point,” said Secretary Kerry “as Palestinians and Israeli leaders grapple with difficult and challenging decisions that lie ahead.”

Join me in declaring that you will speak up for a secure Israel; one that does not occupy another people; and one that understands that the true threat to its existence is a lack of a Palestinian state.

As Jewish moral leaders, we must not underestimate the effect our voices can have. Now is the moment when we must loudly and clearly proclaim that it is because of our commitment to Israel that we stand up and act for the two-state solution. Now, while there is still time. “For Zion’s sake, I will not be silent, and for the sake of Jerusalem I will not rest.” (Isaiah 62:1).

Add your name to our pledge, and after you sign on, we will provide you with resources from all three of our organizations that will help you communicate to your community the urgency of this moment and the necessity for all of us to speak out as Jews and as Americans.

L'Shalom,
Rabbi Alana Suskin
Director of Strategic Communications
Americans for Peace Now

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Tu Bishvat: We are planting for the future.

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There is a story in the Talmud of a man who was walking along a road, and came upon an elderly man planting a carob tree. Seeing how old the gardener was, he asked him, "How long does this tree take to bear fruit?" The old man said, "70 years." The first man asked the gardener if he expected to live that long, and the man replied, "What I am planting, I am planting for my children, just as others planted for me."

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The confluence of Thanksgiving and Chanukah seems to have brought more than the usual rush of madness to Chanukah, which has become a major holiday in the United States by virtue of its usual proximity to Christmas.

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The Telegraph: MEET THE SETTLERS -A journey through the West Bank

by Jake Wallis Simons

The "enough blood and tears" speech, which Yitzhak Rabin, then prime minister of Israel, delivered on the White House lawn on Sept 13 1993, is widely regarded as his finest. The Oslo Accord negotiations had been concluded, and a declaration of intent to end hostilities had been signed; he and Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, had just made history by shaking hands, to thunderous applause.

Two years later, Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish extremist opposed to territorial compromise. In 2000, a bloody Intifada erupted across the region, claiming the lives of about 1,000 Israelis and 3,300 Palestinians. Israeli politics came to be dominated by parties from the political Right and the settlements on the West Bank continued to be expanded.

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